A U.S. district judge has denied an investor's effort to move a lawsuit against payments firm Ripple to a lower court.
Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the Northern District of California denied Ryan Coffey's motion to remand his suit against Ripple Labs and affiliated entities back to the Superior Court of San Francisco after Ripple escalated the suit to the United States District Court level, court documents published on Friday reveal.
Coffey sued Ripple earlier this year claiming that the XRP cryptocurrency is a security controlled and issued by the firm.
Coffey claimed in his motion to remand that "'cases arising under' the Securities Act can be brought in state court and are expressly non-removable from state court."
However, Hamilton noted that the precedents and rules Coffey cited do not necessarily apply, and a federal court can supersede the state court regardless of whether XRP is a security because of the "nationwide" nature of the class-action lawsuit.
Ripple is using the same argument in other efforts to move cases to other locations. Legal documents filed last Wednesday show the firm has filed to remove the suit brought by investor Avner Greenwald earlier this month. That suit was filed in the Superior Court of San Mateo, as previously reported, but Ripple wants to try this one with the Northern District of California as well, again citing the "nationwide" nature of the class action and the contention that damages could be in excess of $5 million.
It also wants to combine the two cases, filing a "motion to relate" the Coffey and Greenwald suits, claiming that if the two cases proceed separately, "there will be an unduly burdensome duplication of labor and expense or conflicting results if the cases are conducted before different judges."
Attorney Jake Chervinsky said on Twitter Wednesday that this would combine the two cases into one.
Similarly, the San Francisco-based firm filed late last week to coordinate lawsuits brought by Vladi Zakinov and David Oconer, noting that these suits involve the same issues as Greenwald's.
If approved, this would allow the different cases "to be joined in one court," according to the California Courts website.
The plaintiffs will have an opportunity to respond to the motions before a judge considers whether to approve them.
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